John Hopkins, 1932 – 2011

After a long, difficult struggle, my dad passed away this past Sunday night. What follows is the obituary we put together this past Monday, which I sent to the local newspapers up in Andover, Massachusetts. I hope that this small paragraph does the man some justice.

John G. Hopkins, 79

January 9, 1932 – December 18, 2011

John Goodwin Hopkins of North Andover, MA, passed away on December 18, 2011, after a long battle with heart disease and Parkinson’s disease. Loving husband of Ann Hopkins, who passed away in 1987. Devoted father of Thomas and Cynthia; father-in-law of Emily Barton Hopkins and Jeff Sugg; grandfather of Tobias. John also leaves behind his three sisters, three brothers-in-law, eleven nieces and nephews, many dear friends, and countless grateful former students. Middlesex School ’50; Harvard College, AB, ’54; University of Virginia, MBA, ’60; Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, ’64. His was a life of service to country and community: as a pilot in the U.S. Navy, and as teacher, coach, and counselor at the Peddie School, Adirondack Camp, Cushing Academy, and the Pike School. Pike’s John Hopkins Award is named after him: the award is given each year to a seventh grader for his or her commitment to athletics and for being a team player. In retirement, John also served as a volunteer, first in the Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga, then at Crotched Mountain School in Greenfield, NH, and Horse Power at Pony Farm in Temple, NH. The family will inter his ashes near his beloved family farm in Lyndeborough, New Hampshire, in a private ceremony in the spring. Donations in John’s memory may be made to Andy’s Summer Playhouse, P.O. Box 601, Wilton, NH, 03086.

What’s the best way to remember John Hopkins? Andy’s Summer Playhouse is a marvelous organization that produces theater by and for kids; it’s where my sister first performed when she was a girl. But given how proud my dad was of his daughter’s accomplishments, and how much he kvelled over her successes as a musician and theater artist for the past 30 years, I think he would be absolutely delighted for folks to support Cindy’s current show, This Clement World, in his memory.

She’s raising money for the show on Kickstarter, which, as you may know, does all-or-nothing funding for creative projects. The project’s deadline for funding is Saturday, December 31. I’d be grateful if you’d consider supporting it.